Monthly Archives: July 2015

Sussex copywriting

Has your writing got structure?

“Style’s” not so sexy older sister, “structure”. Part 5 of SC’s foundation level copywriting skills.

I know talking about the structure of your writing isn’t as exciting as thinking about your tone and style (here’s the link to my newsletter about that if you missed it). But it is just as important. I also know that it’s holiday time, so I’ll keep this blog about structure brief and to the point.

1. Plan a beginning, middle and end.

Trite advice perhaps but often forgotten. Don’t let your blogs become a waffle or your Home page become a blur. Have a clear idea of the points you want to make and if you find you have too much information, consider breaking it down into separate chunks, pages or posts.

2. Keep it clear and concise.

Like it or not, we’re all guilty nowadays of skim reading and short attention spans. So the key to keeping our readers attention is making it valuable, informative and even fun yes, but keeping it concise at the same time. That doesn’t have to mean ‘short’ copy but if you are regularly writing 1,000 words plus for your blog, try cutting the word count by half without losing the essence of your post. It may take a little time but if you can, the chances are you are guilty of waffle.

3. Headlining.

For those that know me well, you’ll know how much I love a headline or sub heading but don’t be fooled into thinking they’re easy. With 80% of folks not reading beyond your headline (be that your email header, blog or social media post), it’s really important that they are irresistible to you reader. The “How to” and “3 ways to” type headlines have a good track record but don’t just rely on those or risk being dull. Make your headlines clear, make them concise and make them just too darn good not to read on. In other words, make them a priority.

And don’t forget my friend the sub heading. Great for sign posting a reader, great for bringing structure, not bad for SEO, what’s not to love?

Structure brings clarity and readability but if you have a creative mind, and let’s face it you do, then it’s also easy to lose sight of. At some stage you may want to buck the trend and bring your own different structure to bear. That’s fine. So long as your focus is always on making it easy to read and not being clever.

So, have a great summer tapping away at those blogs. And if you’re struggling with your headlines or cant get a grip of your structure, just email me at lucy@stroodcopy.com

And this month I have mainly …

Quick bit of round up news:

I’ve finally worked out how to get a link to my copywriting update. This month was all about making sure you have tone and style in your writing so here it is: July Copywriting Update.

baba

This month’s Mayhem Mother is also out and here’s a sneak preview.  It’s page 155. And here’s a quick link to The Good Life France magazine where you’ll find me popping up as deputy editor and in my column.

Don’t forget my September 10% off offer and may the sun shine on you once more.

Oh I’ve been a bad girl.

Really it’s July already?

Every month, I do a presentation. And every month I tell people to make a commitment to their blogging and news pages and stick to it. Religiously. But for any of you who look carefully (and I know you’re out there), you’ll see that I’m the worst at following my own advice. It’s certainly been a while since my last post.

What’s my excuse?

summer blogI don’t really have one other than it’s been a wonderfully busy and exciting year. In April I popped over to Lyon on a press trip, I’ve re-branded my website and myself, finished my proofreading course, secured two columns (one in Etc Magazine for the Mayhem Mothers and one in The Good Life France’s print edition), spoken at the FWMM annual conference, completed levels 1 to 5 of the National Association of Speaker’s programme and supported my clients at the Business Matters Awards. Oh and I’ve done quite a bit of copy and presenting too.

A little something for you – 10% off.

A lot of us are ready to slow down for the summer now. And I’m a big believer that, that’s really important. But what I’ve learnt over the last few years is that it’s easy to take your foot of the peddle over the summer and lose the momentum that you’ve worked so hard for.

So to give you a helping hand to get back into the swing of things in September, I’m offering 10% off any September projects. And by projects I mean anything, from the shortest email to the largest  website. Just quote this blog (in other words tell me that you saw it hear) and you’re in. And that also gives you something to think about as you lie by the pool: What part of your marketing collateral really needs a makeover? Or what new campaign are you going to run with too make the most of the  autumn business buzz.

So just give me a call, drop me an email, pop round for coffee (don’t mind the dogs – they haven’t eaten anyone in a while) or send me a pigeon. let me help you with those words.

Meanwhile, have fun, have a great summer and next month (yes I’m hoping to be a bit more consistent from now on), I’ll be posting from a beautiful valley in France that I know. A bientôt!